Showtime rock doc dives into Jimi Hendrix’s historic set at the 1970 Atlanta Pop Fest

showtime jimi hendrix rock doc 1970 atlanta pop fest
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The Jimi Hendrix Experience is coming to Showtime next month. The cabler will premiere Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, a documentary about the legendary guitarist’s July 4, 1970 set at the Atlanta Pop Festival, on September 4. At the concert dubbed the ‘Southern Woodstock,’ Hendrix performed a career-spanning set to a massive crowd of over 300,000. Alongside the documentary, which also tells the tale of how the festival came together, the audio from the performance will be released as a two-disc set called Freedom: Jimi Hendrix Experience Atlanta Pop Festival on August 28 through Legacy Recordings.

Hendrix’s previously unreleased live performance features classics like Hey Joe, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Purple Haze, as well as songs like Room Full of Mirrors, Freedom, and Straight Ahead, which were planned to be released in that summer. Also notable was a performance of The Star Spangled Banner which was played alongside fireworks, a moment festival organizer Alex Cooley said “knocked peoples’ socks off” at the time, according to a press release.

The doc, which will be released on DVD/Blu-Ray on October 30, also features interviews with band members Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell in addition to Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Kirk Hammett, Cooley, and others. In addition to telling the tale of Hendrix’s 1970 performance, it will also celebrate the guitarist’s legacy 45 years after his untimely death. “We all played guitar,” said McCartney in Electric Church according to a press release. “We all knew a bit. But he seemed to know more than us.”

Steve Rash (The Buddy Holly Story, Can’t Buy Me Love) shot the footage from the Atlanta festival on 16mm color film, which then lay unused in his barn for over three decades after Rash failed to secure a film deal. Thanks to Showtime, Experience Hendrix L.L.C., and Legacy Recordings, his vintage footage will be now be released.

The two-disc set, released on both CD and 200-gram vinyl, will feature Hendrix’s entire 16-song set. The first 5,000 units will be individually numbered.